Where it’s due: A giant cheer to our fellow traveler Meera Subramanian (Killing the Buddha) for having her “India’s Vanishing Vultures” (VQR, Spring 2011) named as one of the best long form articles of the year.
The Big Jew Lebowski: Heeb magazine gives Tablet magazine’s “100 Greatest Jewish Films of all time” list the shake-down.
Opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, fondly known as Obamacare, are preparing for March when, as announced today, the Supreme Court will address the constitutionality of the bill. One tactic (by the Catholic Church) has been to contest the bill’s mandatory insurance coverage for abortion and contraception by broadening the definition of religious tolerance. Another has been to demand Elena Kagan’s recusal from the case. Of course, a strong case could be made for Clarence Thomas’ recusal as well.
Bishops in Rwanda Sin: Chris Armstrong at Grateful to the Dead points us to details in the dispute in the Anglican Mission in the Americas. “Eight AMIA bishops have removed themselves from Rwandan oversight, having done so for no particular theological or biblical reason. The issues are both personal and ecstatic.”
With Money and Power on Their Side: Nick Sementelli at Bold Faith Type continues to watch Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church’s opposition to the Occupy movement and ask why. Elizabeth Drescher at Religion Dispatches writes:
But, of course, Trinity Wall Street does not have a CEO. It has ministers. Ministers who are called stand with those on the margins of society in practical rather than merely theological ways. Ministers—“servants,” by the Latin root—who are meant to go ‘all in’ for the sake of ‘those in any kind of need or trouble,’ as the OWS protestors seem clearly to be.
Knights of the Jedi now number 15,070 in the Czech Republic:
On the phenomenon, the deputy of the Czech statistical office Stanislav Drapal commented, “Fifteen thousand adherents, which is the size of a small town, is not a negligible social phenomenon.” He added, “We included this option (in the census form) despite a fierce debate over whether it’s serious or not. But it’s not up to statisticians to say what is or is not a religion.”
It follows three violence interrupters who work on the south and west sides of Chicago with Ceasefire—an organization with a proven record of reducing shootings in neighborhoods around Chicago. The Englewood neighborhood saw a 34% reduction in shootingsthrough Ceasefire’s work.
Of How Many Journalists Can That Be Said?: Katha Pollitt, longtime colleague of Christopher Hitchens, remembers his self-confidence and wonders about his legacy.
Who You Calling Christian? Pew has a new report out on the world Christian population.
The Literal Inability to Conceive an Unorthodox Thought: At The Atlantic Michael Hirsh offers a great read for those who charge that Communism is bereft of religion. On the death and dynasty of Kim Jong Il.
Sacred Space is Scary? And endangered?